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ART BEAT: Visual arts are blooming in Peachtree Corners, Norcross

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Special Photo Painting at Objet diArt by Anne Labaire to be featured in a solo exhibition in March.

Just in time for spring, the visual arts are blooming in Peachtree Corners and Norcross, with activities and opportunities for visitors to admire, acquire and learn.

Objet d'Art Gallery in Peachtree Corners is a relatively new studio and gallery space. Located at 5270 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 110, the business opened in July and has had success bringing people back again and again.

"When visitors come into the gallery, they consistently say four things: 'We've needed a place like this,' 'your art is fantastic,' 'I can't wait to take a class' and 'I'll be back,'" said owner Sheri Snyder.

Snyder saw the business as the fulfillment of a dream.

"I have always wanted to create my own studio space and gallery to sell my work," she said. "What started out as maybe adding to our house or renting a small storefront evolved into 4,100-square-feet of fine art gallery and teaching studios."

Local artists such as Anne Labaire, Jacqueline Allison, Dawn Martin and Sherri Thacker are displayed in the gallery. Labaire will be featured in a solo gallery exhibition March 16-April 10 titled "Along the Creative Path, Paintings by Anne Labaire." The opening reception is from 6 to 10 p.m. March 15. On March 16, Labaire will be the guest instructor for a two-hour "Canvas Painting" class at 1 p.m. in the studio.

Items for purchase in the gallery include oils, acrylics, watercolors, turned and carved wood items, pottery, sculpture, photography, jewelry, glass and mixed media.

Classes are also a major focus. "Family Fun" canvas painting parties, and Pizza and Painting are available at 5 p.m. Art camp for kids is available on all school holidays, breaks and summer vacation.

"I love art," Snyder said, "And my ultimate desire is to encourage adults' and children's creativity, and make fine art from local artists accessible to area residents."

For more information about classes, exhibition and more, visit objetdartgallery.com.

In Norcross, Zudzu Art Zone is gearing up for a special workshop. The facility is located at 116 Carlisle St. in Norcross. Zudzu will be welcoming Daryl Urig, a prominent painter from Ohio, to teach a five-day workshop from Feb. 25 through March 1. Urig is also a popular instructor, painting with palette knives and emphasizing color, texture and value.

"I have found that instructing artists with palette knives is hugely valuable," Urig said. "I would even insist that all painters spend a year with painting knives. The benefits can be appreciated by studio or Plein air painter."

All levels of experience are welcomed to the workshop.

Kudzu also has an exhibition of members' juried artwork on display in an exhibition titled "Doors and Portals" through March 23.

For more information about the Urig workshop or "Doors and Portals," visit www.kudzuartzone.org.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.